If Paco Martínez Soria had been born in the United States, the United Kingdom, France or Italy he would be now adored and revered by public and critics alike. Unluckily for him, he had the misfortune of being born in Spain, where anybody else´s merits and success are never recognized or "forgiven" and comedy is still considered a second-rate genre. This film, adaptation of one of his biggest theatrical smashes (written by Fernando Ángel Lozano, which I believe it´s a pseudonymous for Spanish Academy member Fernando Lázaro Carreter), was also one of his greatest box-office hits and rightly so. Until then - and with few exceptions - Martínez Soria´s roles in films had been character parts (albeit both the films and the parts were good) and always portraying bespectacled and moustachioed or bearded men older than himself. "La Ciudad No Es Para Mí" turned him into a star, something that he already was in the theatre. He plays an old widower peasant farmer from Aragón who goes to Madrid to visit his only child, a fortysomething doctor (Eduardo Fajardo) who is married and has his own family and receives his father somewhat reluctantly. Soon the countryman will find out that his family are disintegrating because of the lack of moral values they have fallen down in by living in the big city and does everything he can to put things straight, which he finally gets. Shot in a beautiful black and white (it was the penultimate film in black and white that Martínez Soria did) by the wonderful and much underrated director Pedro Lazaga (with whom the actor made eight more films after this one), nicely performed by this great artist and the rest of the first-rate cast and with a complete independence in relation to the original play, this movie is an absolute delight from the beginning to the end, although probably it will look "politically incorrect" to the "in" crowd of nowadays. Definitely things like marriage, family, morals or religion are not fashionable in this throwaway society. Oh, dear!
The worst film ever made, this one? When you´ve seen some blatant rubbish made by the likes of Almodóvar, Antonioni, Aranda, Bardem, Berlanga, Buñuel, Godard, Loach, Mercero, Pasolini, Regueiro or Trueba - to name just a few - you don´t come to that conclusion at all.
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